IIf you choose sustainability as a way of life, why not incorporate it into your clothing and fashion choices as well?
While fast fashion is all the rage these days, its ill effects are largely ignored – not only is it a massively polluting industry, but it’s also infamous for its abusive working conditions and negative impact on life on earth and Marine.
So if you want to make conscious choices and pay extra attention to how your clothes are made, here is a list of 10 sustainable and ethical Indian clothing brands.
This unique eco-friendly fashion brand was founded by Kriti Tula in 2012 and offers comfortable clothing for men, women and children with a high style quotient.
The brand is known for making sustainable and ethical clothing by recycling leftover and discarded fabrics from major manufacturers. They also use other organic materials and natural fibers like cotton, corn, banana fibers, etc.
Doodlelage believes in zero waste and therefore tries to minimize production waste. What’s left is reused to make bags and home furnishings. The brand also focuses on sustainable business practices at every stage of the fashion supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to disposing of garments by consumers.
2. No bad guys
Founded by Apurva Kothari in Goa, No Nasties is an eco-friendly brand that makes clothes that are both sustainable and fashionable. Their clothes are made with 100% organic materials and mostly come in neutral tones with minimalist nature-inspired prints and fresh silhouettes.
No Nasties claims to only use organic cotton from fair trade farmers. In fact, their entire supply chain is fair trade certified.
There are also no harmful chemicals or pesticides involved in the production of the cotton, and no genetically modified seeds are used.
A clothing line based in Auroville, Upasana believes in creating conscious and sustainable clothing.
This brand creates projects around real-world issues and causes to help those most affected by them. They work with several families of artisans from Madurai and Varanasi and use only organic materials for all stages, from manufacturing to packaging.
Their Tsunamika project was started with the aim of providing livelihoods for fisherwomen affected by the 2004 tsunami.
Noted for its exquisite range of cotton sarees, in jamdani, mulmul, malkesh, banarasi weave varieties and so on, Suta is a clothing brand with a cause.
Founded by sisters Sujatha and Taniya Biswas in 2016, the brand aims to uplift communities of weavers and artisans by helping them thrive through their traditional craftsmanship.
Suta mainly sells sarees and blouses, made from eco-friendly fabrics like cotton and silk. They are also packaged in fabric bags or the reuse of plastic packaging.
5. Maati by Neha Kabra
Founded by Neha Kabre, Maati is a sustainable clothing line based in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
It is known for making eco-friendly, skin-friendly and waist-friendly clothing following a zero-waste policy. Besides using natural raw materials, Maati also recycles yarn and works with local artisans from different parts of the country.
This PETA-verified brand is plastic-free even in its packaging.
6. Dress up
Delhi-based sustainable clothing brand Dressfolk produces traditional Indian handicrafts and textiles in contemporary silhouettes. With a wide range of garments including both traditional garments such as sarees and western casual wear, the fabrics used by the brand are either hand woven or certified organic fabrics such as Jamdani, Chanderi Silk, Mulmul, linens, organic cottons and bamboo.
They work with over 250 weavers and 40 artisans in six states paying them fair prices, providing them with a better livelihood.
Established by the Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD), Okhai is a collective of rural women aiming to empower artisans in rural India. Although the brand started in 2002, it was registered as a trust in 2008 – the Okhai Center for Empowerment – with artisans as members.
In Okhai, rural artisans make handcrafted clothing and lifestyle products using traditional skills to create designs unique to their culture and heritage. The brand offers contemporary designs through handcrafts and eco-friendly materials.
In addition to providing better livelihoods for rural artisans, the brand also raises awareness of the region’s traditional crafts.
8. Indian Ethnic Society
Mumbai-based clothing brand, The Indian Ethnic Co was launched in 2016 by Hetal Desai and his daughters Lekhinee and Twaraa Desai. Started as a small Instagram business, it has now established itself as an ethnic brand that celebrates Indian weavers and artisans across the country.
They help hundreds of artisans and artisans across the country earn a living. They also promote sustainable fashion through their ethnic clothing.
A sustainable fashion brand founded by husband and wife duo Mani Chinnaswamy and Vijayalakshmi Nachiar in 2009, Ethicus focuses on empowering cotton farmers and traditional artisans.
The enduring fashion brand offers ethnic sarees enhanced by hand block printing, hand screen printing, hand painting or hand embroidery using traditional Indian crafts and skills.
Each Ethicus product is tagged with the name and photo of the weaver who made it, as well as the number of days it took to complete the final product.
10. Eco Tasar
Launched by Khitish Pandya in 2007, Eco Tasar is a social enterprise that produces handmade, artisan textiles using natural fibers like Tasar silk, linen, cotton and wool. Their products are exquisitely and elegantly styled, and most importantly, are durable, involving near-zero carbon footprint production.
They create livelihoods for tribal silk cocoon producers, women yarn makers, weavers and artisans by following a sustainable and fair trade model.
(Editing by Divya Sethu)